Dining: High Hopes, but 7 Adam Disappoints
7 Adam, which has taken over the previous Honjin Japanese restaurant, occupies one of the National University of Singapore Society’s four Guild Houses at Adam Road. This black and white colonial bungalow housed a 110-seat bistro, bar and art gallery.
The bungalow overlooks the lush greenery of Adam Park. It is quiet which is a good place to chill out with friends. The walls are adorned with contemporary paintings and there are pieces of sculptures neatly placed as though they are part of the décor. The exhibits are rotated every eight to 10 weeks.
The menu is divided into appetizers, soups, fish, meat, pasta, sandwiches and burgers for the kids menu and dessert.
We ordered the crab cake, tomato chilli jam – which is crab meat with spice, and homemade chilli jam (S$15/-). When served to us, the crab cake was cold on the inside when we ate it. Although the breadcrumbs coated on the outside were crunchy, but it was not even lukewarm. It must have been taken out from the fridge without proper heating. The salad accompanying the crab cake was not fresh. We could pick out the strands of yellow and limp leaves of the salads.
Another disappointing dish was the mesclun salad, pear, tomato and avocado. It was supposed to consist of fresh mesclun with pear, tomato, cherry confit and avocado (S$15/-). Here again, the mesclun salad was far from fresh. The chef made it worse by masking the staleness of the salad with lots of balsamic. As a result, we had to pick out the edible stalks of vegetables and discard the rest.
The first two courses gave us a very bad first impression as it was not what we had expected. The proof of a good salad is in the freshness of the greens. It must be crunchy and can be eaten on its own without much dressing.
For the main course, we were recommended to try the US ribeye with bordelaise sauce – gratin dauphionoise. This is the US ribeye with red wine and gratin potato (S$32/-). We were put off by the mashed potato which was not fresh and had a slightly sour taste. Was it a case of last night’s unfinished mashed potato served to us? The slice of rib eye was quite thin. We asked for the ribeye to be done medium to well. The result was not what we expected. It was tough with the meat overcooked – more like very well done as the outside of the meat was a bit charred.
The only dish that gained our approval was the fettuccine with portobello and spinach. This was fettuccine with sautéed portobello mushroom and spinach (S$22/-). The sauce in the fettuccine was just right – creamy and full of flavour. The portobello mushroom was cut into small slices with a little spinach in the dish. Although this was the only redeeming dish for the restaurant, it was on the pricey side considering the portion served.
We initially ordered the apple tart with vanilla ice cream as our dessert. The serving staff told us that they ran out of vanilla ice cream and suggested the green tea sorbet to go with the apple tart. For an apple tart, the right complement is an ice cream and certainly not a sorbet. We decided to go for the crème brulee which was the dessert of the day, after much persuasion by the serving staff.
As the crème brulee took quite some time to be served, we decided to bring it home to eat. The crème brulee looked like panna cotta. The texture was not smooth unlike those in a good French restaurant. It was also lacking in taste and not listed in the menu. All desserts are priced at S$12 except the ice cream which is S$10/-. To price the crème brulee at $S15/- is certainly not worth the price to pay for the kind of quality served.
We left the restaurant feeling very disappointed. Prices are on the high side considering the quality of food served. The food has to be par excellence with fresh ingredients to command such prices. The restaurant was quiet with only a few tables occupied when we were there on a Sunday afternoon.
The serving staff did not know how to react when we told them that the crab cake was too cold for our liking as it was not properly cooked at all. Subsequently the staff came back to inform us that he had given the feedback to the chef and the chef had said that the crab cake was to be eaten cold!
For a newly opened restaurant, it is imperative to serve food with fresh ingredients. Also, the dishes have to be well prepared and up to the mark. Otherwise, a repeat visit is not likely to happen in the future.
7 Adam Park
Opening Hours for lunch and dinner:
Monday to Sunday: 11 am to 11 pm